University of Calgary

Cecille Marie De Pass

  • Associate Professor Emerita of Education

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


A Commonwealth Scholar from Jamaica, Dr. DePass has completed several degrees at the University of the West Indies; Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; and a PhD in Education, at the University of Calgary. Prior to accepting a full time position as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education in 1992, Dr. DePass taught geography at St Joseph’s Teachers College in Kingston, Jamaica, and at Mount Royal College. She also worked in areas of urban planning research, multiculturalism, and employment equity. Dr. DePass teaches both undergraduate and graduate programs and emphasizes sensitivity to social justice issues in her teaching and research.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Influenced by changing patterns of population movements, Dr. DePass’s research interests shifted from multiculturalism and equity to cultural and post-colonial studies. Inspired by recent work of Said, Spivak, hooks, and Willinsky, she is particularly interested in exploring implicit and explicit traces of colonial legacies evident in school and university curricula in the social sciences and humanities. DePass has published extensively on the impacts of colonial education, human rights and social justice in the Caribbean and Canada. She has also contributed critiques of educational traditions associated with international development.

Current Projects:

Colonialism and the curriculum: a review of school curricula in terms of Said,hooks and Willinsky’s work. (Work in progress).

Abbeydale Community Composting Input Plan – pilot project . Project funded by Urban Alliance in partnership with the City of Calgary. Principal investigator: Gail Jardine. (Work in progress).

RESPECT: A critical multicultural literature review for the Abbeydale Community Composting Input Plan – pilot project. (Work in progress)


PhD Comparative and International
Education University of Calgary

MA (Economic Geography)
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

BA honours (Geography)
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Professional & Community Affiliations

Over the past 20 years, Dr. DePass has been providing innovative leadership to several academic/professional development and community organizations. Dr. DePass served as a Program Chair for a number of annual conferences of associations within the Canadian Society for the Study of Education. Some examples include the Inaugural conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Women in Education Women (CASWE) and the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (CACS). As member (since 1988), VP, and later President of the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada (CIESC), she established a strong electronic communications network for its members and revitalized its graduate research awards for dissertations and theses. She has been an active member of the Executive for the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES). More recently she chaired, the Sectoral Commission in Education, for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

  • Comparative and International Education Society of Canada, (CIESC, member & former president)
  • Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education, (Active, Editorial Board member)
  • Oxford Roundtable initiative, (Founding Member new Committee)


DePass, C.(2012). “Come mek we wheel and tun gal [… Come and dance with me…]”. Snapshots of life in Jamaica and Calgary. In James, C. and Davis, A. (Eds). “Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence”. Black Point: Fernwood Publishing. (Invited book chapter, for the 50 Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence).

DePass, C. (in press)‘Freedom songs’ in selected Caribbean- Canadian contexts: Retrospective fragments. Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education

DePass, C. (2008). “Rockstone Under River Bottom…”: Memories of a Caribbean Childhood. In Abdi, A. & Richardson, G. ( Eds). Decolonizing Democratic Education: Trans-disciplinary Dialogues. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.pp.151-160.

DePass, C.(2008). ‘Rivers of Babylon…’: Traditions in Education for Development. In Abdi, A. A. & Guo, S. ( Eds). Education and Social Development.: Global Issues and Analysis. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Pp 13-24.

DePass, C.(2006).Comparative Education in Changing Times: A View with a Southern Exposure. Canadian and International Education. Vol 35 ( 2).pp 1-16.


  • DePass Profiled in the 50 Anniversary of Jamaican independence book entitled: "When Ackee meets Saltfish:Jamaicans in Canada”. Published by the Jamaican Canadian Association, Toronto in February 2012
  • DePass was nominated for a University Teaching Excellence Award in fall 2011
  • DePass was commended for community leadership by the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women, October 2011
  • Placed as finalist, in Professional Category, in the Immigrants of Distinction Awards, March 2009 competition, Calgary, Westin Hotel, Calgary
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